BY GEORGE REVEL
BY GEORGE REVEL
Fall offers some of the best fly fishing of year. Steelhead and salmon are pouring into our rivers, brown trout are staging for spawn, striper begin their migrations back into the delta and rivers, the rivers begin to drop back down to their normal flows and the leaves begin to change color. In fact there are so many options that it can be hard to decide where to go and what to do. Below is a list of our favorite California fly fishing destinations; if we were to go outside of California the list may never end. So, without further delay, here are Lost Coast Outfitters top 10 Fall Fishing Trips. We will start closest to home and work our way out from there.
We might sound like a broken record at this point, but the bay is San Francisco's closest and most badass fishery. The best part is you can fish it before and after work, or do a sunrise mission and be back home before the family is even settling into cereal and Saturday morning cartoons. Hit up China Camp, Cortre Madera Creek, Richardson Bay, Paridise Beach, Angel Island in the next month and a half and you stand to have some incredible fishing.
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A local favorite of bay area residents, Putah Creek runs super high through the summer months providing water to the Valley's Orchards. While it is fishable at these high flows it is far from ideal. Last year they dropped the flows on October 15th and I am willing to bet we see similar timing this year. Putah Creek is not for the inexperienced as these fish have PHD's in flies and drifts. So look to a guide to shorten your learning curve.
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The CA Delta offers up some of the best opportunities to target large stripers of all of our systems in California. The biggest challenge this time of year is finding a great Captain who can help put you on the fish. It's Truly a world class fishery and if you have not fished it in the fall you are missing out.
This actually might not need any explaining, but the Lower Sac goes from it's normal good to great to AMAZING in the fall. The salmon come up the river spawn and trout and steelhead get keyed in on their eggs. This drift boat fishery requires very little casting ability making it a great way to get beginners interested in fly fishing. It can be hard to find a good guide when it's going off.
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Well, steelheading is getting underway, but what very few people know/do is skate dries for them. September and October are my favorite months to skate dries for these fish on the Trinity, Klamath, and Rogue. Skating dries for steelhead you typically don't want full sun so hunt shade or fish early morning and evening.
With October comes the October Caddis Hatch on the McCloud, Upper Sac, Pit, and North Fork Yuba. This is the proverbial last supper for many of these trout before waters temps drop and their metabolisms with it. I am sure there are October Caddis in other places but these are a few of my favorites.
Brown Trout are fall spawners. So many of them are starting to stage for spawn. Of Course, we are not recommending you pull them off redds (in fact don't do that) but knowing this info can put you into some toads. Many fish who hang out all year in the lakes will head up the rivers to get it on. The McCloud, Upper Sac, Pit, Hat Creek, Stanislaus, American, Rubicon, Truckee, and Eastern Sierra are all good places to get in on this phenomenon
Of course, there is the obvious Pyramid Lake opener on 10/1 where you stand a chance at tying into a 20+ lb Lohattan Cutthroat. The allure is pretty obvious!
There the less frequented Davis and Frenchman lakes where near perfect rainbows chow late season snacks.
Fall colors erupting out of the mountain sides only over shadowed by the dramatic peaks surrounding the valley are just a few of the visuals you can expect to see on a fall trip to the Eastern Sierra. That's not mentioning the shots at happy brown trout and rainbows looking to chow as much as they can before winter sets in. A trip to the Eastside from Bridgeport to Lone Pine is a photographers dream.
Just about everywhere fishes great in the Fall. Pick a place you want to go and get after it. You won't regret it.